In America, dissent against the Trump regime is now literally punishable by a year in prison.
A jury on Wednesday convicted three Code Pink protesters on charges that they disrupted the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions for attorney general — including a Virginia woman who said all she did was break out in laughter. Each could face up to 12 months in prison.
The Virginia woman, Desiree A. Fairooz, was found guilty of the two charges she faced: disorderly conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.
The jury also convicted two other activists in the group she was with, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who were dressed as Ku Klux Klan members with white hoods and robes and stood up before the Jan. 10 hearing started.
They were acquitted on a count of disorderly conduct but were convicted on two separate charges of parading or demonstrating, Mr. Barry said.Continue reading the main story
The verdicts were returned shortly after noon Wednesday. A two-day trial in United States Superior Court in Washington ended on Tuesday.
Ms. Fairooz, 61, of Bluemont, Va., said she was “really disappointed.” She said her lawyer, Samuel A. Bogash, would file post-trial motions seeking to set the verdict aside. She said it was too early to discuss an appeal.
“We’ll face that music when we get to that,” Ms. Fairooz said. She added that she was undeterred and would continue to protest.
She was in the Senate gallery at Sessions's confirmation hearing. She laughed. She's now facing a year in federal prison for this crime. The jurors felt that the statue, as written, demanded her conviction.
Several of the jurors indicated they disagreed with the decision of Capitol Police Officer Katherine Coronado to take her into custody because of the laugh.
“We did not agree that she should have been removed for laughing,” the jury foreperson stated. Some jurors indicated they believed Coronado made a mistake.
“The officer, she was a rookie officer, and I think it was her first time involved in an arrest,” another juror stated. “Make of that what you will.”
The jurors indicated they felt they had to convict Fairooz because of the way the laws are written, with yet another juror describing them as “so broad.”
At least three jurors said it was fair to say they felt forced into convicting her. “There’s almost no way that you can find them not guilty,” one said.
“There’s not a lot of wiggle room,” said the jury foreperson.
Justice Department attorneys claimed during the trial that laughter was enough to merit a criminal charge against Fairooz, asserting that “heads turned around” when Fairooz let out what they characterized as a “scoff,” “outburst” or “burst” of laughter. But they mostly focused on how Fairooz acted after she was confronted by the police officers.
“Why am I being taken out of here?” Fairooz asked. “I was going to be quiet, and now you’re going to have me arrested? For what?” Fairooz also referred to Sessions’ record as “evil,” Shelby’s comment as “ridiculous,” and appeared to hold up her sign, which could violate the ban on picketing.
This is the textbook definition of fascism, by the way, arresting and jailing political dissidents for the crime of being political dissidents. Just so you know, that's the real legacy of Trump's first 100 days.